Ryan: Roy Moore allegations 'disqualifying if true'

Ryan: Roy Moore allegations 'disqualifying if true'
© Camille Fine

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRubio discovers Native American heritage through TV show Feminine hygiene products to be available to House lawmakers using congressional funds Former Ryan aide moves to K street MORE (R-Wis.) responded to allegations of sexual misconduct against GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore on Thursday, saying the allegations are “disqualifying if true.”

“These allegations are disqualifying if true. Anyone who would do this to a child has no place in public office, let alone the United States Senate,” Ryan said in a statement.

In a bombshell report in The Washington Post on Thursday, Moore was accused of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he was 32.

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Leigh Corfman, now 53, said Moore asked for her phone number and the pair met later on two separate occasions. On the first, the two kissed. During the second, she said Moore removed his clothes, took off her shirt and pants, and touched her over her bra and underwear, according to the account in the Post. Corfman said the two did not have intercourse.

The newspaper also found three other women who said Moore had approached them around a similar time, when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.

Moore has denied the allegations, saying they are "completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.” 

A number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have condemned the actions detailed in the reports. Many Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE (R-Ky.) have said Moore should step aside if the allegations are true.

Vice President Pence also echoed those comments in his own statement Thursday. His press secretary told reporters that Pence “found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office.”

Moore has been the favorite to win in the December special election against Democratic candidate Doug Jones, but the shocking revelations could roil the race.

Moore beat out current Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeDomestic influence campaigns borrow from Russia’s playbook Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Five things to watch in Mississippi Senate race MORE (R-Ala.) in the GOP primary in September. The seat previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony MORE.